For fans of the Twilight series, or even the disappointed fans of the Twlight series, Charlaine Harris’ mystery/vampire romance novel is definitly a book for your shelves. There were a number of similarities between the two books, but where Twilight was mostly rated PG, Dead Until Dark would be rated R.
First Line: I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.
Sookie Stackhouse is your typical small-town waitress at Merlotte’s in an upper Louisiana city of Bon Temps. Well she’s almost typical, minus her “disability” as its called in the book. Her disability is being able to read minds. One night during Sookie’s shift a vampire sits at one her tables. Ever since synthetic blood was discovered and sold on the mainstream markets, vampires “came out of the coffin” and began to mainstream, that is live among humans and be accepted, more of less, among humans. Vampires, in this world, are just another minority to be tolerated. I found that aspect of the book very unique. Most vampires hide, or are thought to be myths, but in Harris’ world, vampires go on to Talk Shows, and TV Evangelists speak as negatively of vampires as they do of any other group they do not agree with, *coughhomoesexualscough*.
After using her powers to save Vampire Bill’s life from two trashy vampire blood drainers, Bill and Sookie form a friendship with healthy amounts of flirtation and sexual tension. It soon turns into a love triangle when Sookie’s boss and owner of Merlotte’s Sam starts to form feelings for Sookie beyond that of just friendship. Add to the mix a series of murders going on around town, and you have yourself one fun and interesting storyline. The victims, all except one, were waitresses at Merlotte’s, the bar where Sookie works. Once Sookie realizes that her very handsome brother Jason is being accused of these murders, Sookie sets out to find out just who the killer is.
One commanility I noticed with Twilight, is that Sookie is unable to read Bill’s mind, even though she can read everyone else’s, or at least get waves of impressions from them. In the same way Edward became fascinated with Bella because he couldn’t read her mind, the same development happened between Bill and Sookie. Bill also took interest in Sookie when he realized he couldn’t use his “glamour” on Sookie. Glamour is a friendly term vampires use for hypnotize.
The writing is fun, especially when you imagine everyone speaking with that Louisiana drawl when you read. The sex and violence scenes are tastefully written and are not very graphic. The characters are cleverly written and Sookie is a hilarious heroine throughout the novel. The series has recently premiered on HBO as the newest show, TruBlood. I watched a few episodes of the show before starting the book, but after a few chapters I was able to put the actors out of my mind and enjoy the writing for its own value.
FINAL GRADE: ADead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris Penguin Group, 2001 ISBN 0441015979 312 pages